In Brief: “Basic framework” for Israel-Saudi normalisation in place

Crown prince Mohamad bin Salman > US State Department, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Israel and Saudi Arabia are moving towards a historic US-brokered deal to normalise diplomatic ties, the White House said on Friday.

US President Joe Biden hopes to score an election-year diplomatic victory by securing recognition of the Jewish state by Saudi Arabia next year.

“All sides have hammered out, I think, a basic framework for what, you know, what we might be able to drive at”, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

The US has encouraged its Middle Eastern allies Israel and Saudi Arabia to normalise ties, following the success of the Abraham Accords – in which Israel was recognised by the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco – in 2020.

Prior to 2020, Israel had had relations only with its immediate neighbours Egypt and Jordan.

A major stumbling block in the negotiation is likely to be Israel’s ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, movement towards a resolution of which the Saudis have insisted as a condition of any deal.